Small battery electric test of the Fiat 500: the perfect city car

Fiat writes it prominently on its website and in its ads. Its 500 electrics are offered from € 109 a month. Rather attractive for this city car that has not lost any of its charm when switching to electricity and that is perfectly cut for the city. To make this proposal, Fiat is based on the small battery version, which has 23.8 kWh of power and 190 km of autonomy. This reduces the price of access to € 25,400 for the Action before the end of the bonus, compared to a minimum of € 30,900 for the higher model (42 kWh battery and 320 km range) at the end Icon.

Fiat 500 electric price

The offer of € 109 per month extends over a period of 37 months and 30,000 km. It is accessible without the condition of recovery but requires a contribution of € 2,500 without bonus. Therefore, this proposal refers to the low-end model, which may be sufficient depending on the use of the car, but it is also necessary to comply with the Pretty naked action finish: no radio, no touch screen and small 15-inch wheels. It is better to go up in Action Plus to 159 € per month that receives a more modern endowment with Apple Carplay and Android Auto on the small touch screen or reversing radar. (see computer on page 2). Definitely the best deal in the range.

Fiat 500 RED electric with 23.8 kWh battery. Price before the bonus: € 28,400.

The RED finish of our test model is more elegant. The large 10.25-inch touchscreen, automatic climate control, soft-touch steering wheel, 16-inch wheels and chrome window surrounds come standard. More beautiful, but also more expensive: it has € 28,400 before a bonus of € 6,000 and a rent of € 175 per month. The € 109 promise is shrinking … and the difference will increase with each option marked, such as metallic paint (RED). not only exists in red!) or the charging cable for public terminals (see list on page 2). However, there is a way to contain the monthly payment of this 500 electric by lowering the mileage of the contract, because 10,000 km per year for an electric city car with little autonomy is a lot.

Driving

The electric Fiat 500 is still a Lilliputian with a size of 3.62 m, or 5 cm more than the petrol version that is still in the catalog. Remember that the two models have nothing to do with chassis and design. The new battery-powered model was designed on a modern platform dedicated to electric propulsion, while its thermal counterpart uses a chassis dating back to 2009. The small size obviously works wonders in the city, where the electric 500 is a delight to drive. . Its 95 hp engine with an instantaneous torque of 220 Nm allows fast starts and smooth evolutions. Maneuverability is ensured by a short turning diameter (9.20 m) and a smooth and precise steering.

fiat 500 electric paris

There are three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa. They act on the power of the engine, therefore in the recovery of energy when lifting the foot of the accelerator. The choice will be made mainly according to your wishes between free driving in Normal mode, which is similar to driving a petrol car with automatic transmission, and driving with a pedal in Sherpa mode (the car stops without touching the brake). On the roughness of the bitumen, the damping is a bit firm because it is necessary to channel the movements of the body generated by the 182 kg of battery, but the small car is not uncomfortable. It’s even the best Fiat 500, compared to a petrol version that suffers from a rather fuzzy steering, a less pleasant suspension and firmer front seats.

fiat 500 electric battery recharge
fiat 500 electric charging time

Obviously, the limits of competition of this electric 500 are tied to its small battery of 23.8 kWh and 21.3 useful. No need to move around in the woods – you need a home charging solution to keep using it and avoid a grueling hunt for public terminals. During our test, we completed a 284 km route for several days in the Paris region with fairly mild temperatures. Electricity consumption was 13.2 kWh / 100 km; a result close to the advertised WLTP value. With this stream, the range is about 160 km real.

This range is, in any case, sufficient for all those who feed mainly on their home with their car. Of course, some “remote” getaways are always possible, with the possibility of sporadically recharging 50 kW DC in a fast terminal to recover 80% of the battery in 30 minutes. But this is frankly not the vocation of this version. For more versatility, it is better to bet on the 42 kWh model, with which we measured a real range on the road of 227 km.

On board

fiat 500 electric red control panel
The Fiat 500 RED benefits from a large 10.25-inch touch screen. The presentation is modern and crisp. Grip is facilitated by a good balance between physical buttons and touch controls.
fiat 500 electric range
The meter benefits from an easy-to-read digital display.
fiat 500 electric power
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections are standard.

fiat 500 electric driving modes
The electric parking brake is not released automatically when started. Shame.
fiat 500 electric front seats
The front seats are better designed and more welcoming than the Fiat 500 petrol.

fiat 500 electric rear seats
Not surprisingly, the rear seats are measured.
fiat 500 electric trunk
The trunk of the 500 electric is made up of 185 l.


Competition

When it comes to low-cost electric city cars, the Dacia Spring is obviously the champion of the portfolio. The Romanian is presented at € 18,690 in the Comfort finish with air conditioning, radio, Bluetooth and charging cable. Or € 13,644 after the bonuses, compared to € 19,400 for the Active 500 without equipment. So there are no photos on the budget side in case of purchase, the first also enjoys a little more autonomy. But we recognize that the Fiat 500e is much more attractive, more pleasant to drive and more reassuring. The brand is also strong with its long term rental deals. Between the Fiat and the Dacia is the Renault Twingo ZE. Priced at € 17,150 with a discount on the entrance ticket, however, it has equipment as scarce as the 500th Active (no radio, no air conditioning).

Find the test results, data sheet and equipment on the next page.

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